There are many upsides to the deterioration of the influence of the Right and the discrediting of Conservative ideology. The most immediate and obvious upside is that it appears the country isn’t going to elect a Republican President again anytime soon, but another silver lining on the dark cloud hanging over our country is that the progressive left is gaining ground and our ideas are suddenly not only taking hold in the Middle, but are infiltration the Right as well.
As I was falling asleep last night, I heard Mike Huckabee on Hardball discussing healthcare with Chris Matthews and the good Governor said something that, sliding out of the mouth of a Republican, nearly knocked me right out of bed. He said that the Republican Party must stop behaving as a “wholly owned subsidiary of big business.” I couldn’t agree more and that sentiment applies doubly to the Democratic Party.
In my view of things, right or wrong, the GOP has always served the interests of the rich and powerful, whereas the Democratic Party used to support labor, the disadvantaged and the middle and working class. That they now behave (and vote) as a “wholly owned subsidiary of big business” is, by comparison, so much more offensive.
Watching the Democrats debate the other night at the AFL-CIO forum was a breath of fresh air. First off, the crowd was raucous, even heckling when the candidates tried to answer questions not asked instead of the question posed to them. Working Americans are the backbone of this country and “politics as usual” isn’t flying with that crowd any more. We want real answers and we’re sick to death of talking points and slick answers that sound good but are never backed up with action. I think the Democratic Presidential hopefuls on that stage got a glimpse of what they’ll be facing in November of ’08.
I love to listen to Dennis Kucinich, he speaks the truth and puts forth the liberal progressive agenda in a concise and easy to grasp manner. When he addresses the healthcare crisis that is felt by each and every American, he talks about the only solution that makes sense, a not-for-profit, single-payer healthcare system, in other words, Medicare for everyone. When he talks about the war, he expresses what most Americans want, out of Iraq now. On education, it’s simple, we must provide for the education of our nations children from birth onward. The reality is, most people with children work and paying for childcare is a burden that keeps families down, doesn’t properly prepare our children for educational success and creates instability in the workplace. If the success of our economy depends on mothers and fathers going to work each and every day, it is in the best interest of the country to provide a safe, stimulating and educationally rich place for their children to be.
None of the this is rocket science and none of this is out of the mainstream, the real problem in getting these very simple things accomplished is that they run afoul of some very powerful and very well connected special interests with the deep pockets necessary to purchase insurance (in the form of politicians) that none of this ever happens.
I don’t know if Dennis Kucinich is the answer, and taking into account political realities he probably isn’t, but the fact that his very liberal ideas were met with roaring applause is encouraging. Sure, it was from a Democratic crowd, but it should serve to warn the rest of the candidates seeking to stake their claim to the middle ground that the “middle” has moved to the left. For the first time in a long time I’m encouraged. The push from the left is working and even though we’ve only moved inches and are only gaining ground we’ve already lost, it gives me hope that it’s possible. Possible to change course, possible to make a difference and possible to get a candidate that will actually understand where the country is, and more importantly, where we want to go.